Well, so far it seems like a big improvement on the memory leaks, good job and keep it up.
Shards work (yeah)
Spells are more powerful. In many ways too powerful. With a fire shard my channeler can blast away anything. Makes me wonder why I have troops other than like the guys in red shirts on Star Trek beaming down to the planet. If you need a little time, let them get killed I can seriously flatten a fairly large army in one turn before they can even move.
Other than my starting area, resources are incredibly rare. I found one area with food only and another with a shard. The ai cities don't have anything except the one I took off an empire that also had a shard. Iron seems especially rare.
As noted in other folks posts, champions are few and I cannot hire them. Ok, I was able to get Janusk and one other guy. How is a guy supposed to get a woman when even though he can kill large evil critters in one shot, run large cities, have masses of loot and STILL can't even get a movie date?
Equipment is kinda crazy. I can have 12 defensive armor pretty quickly by nothing that attacks better than 4-6 for ages. Also the costs of items for your champions is out of whack. Why buy a staff that costs more than a dagger? How is a staff more costly than a dagger?
Beaches seem to be rare again, could be the map. Shouldn't I be able to lower the land to make a beach?
Confusion spell is still messed up and gives negative attack to the target instead of 1/2.
Terrain movement is sometimes costing more to move through than it should
Raise land - I tried to make a bridge between two strips of land close to each other. It raised the land but won't let me walk across it. So I raised it again, visually nothing changed and the mouse over says it is now hills, and I still cannot walk across it.
When casting with my sovereign and Janusk in the same stack in a battle, the essence costs is being taken from both!